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No title.
(2013-03-15 - 2013-04-15)
No description.
Faruja Senra The office of Inquisitor Sarah Diamonde is located in a small side-cathedral. Though all of the holy buildings in Mullonde are relatively grand, this one is rather modest by comparison. No massive murals, no stained glass windows larger than some buildings, simply a tastefully appointed Church that fit the tastes of the elderly Inquisitor. It's what struck Faruja when first he was brought within to enter into her service. And now, in a side room of the Church, more fit for a simple Priestess than one of the more respected Inquisitors of the Church, Faruja steps in. The blonde woman, red robes and streaked with grey in her hair, stands and walks towards the Burmecian. Even as he kneels, she offers the young knight a pat on the head. "Up, up my Child! Sit. Today is a glorious and joyful day...though perhaps you won't think so at first."

Doing as bidden, he sits down on a hard backed chair. Glancing to his right, he notes two others.

"What is going on, Sarah?" Faruja asks, receiving a smile from the woman.

"Patience, my young friend. I know your hot blood boils, but let it simmer awhile. We have guests."

Enter our most esteemed guests!
Ophelia Though the hour is drawing late the energy of the young woman to which the old inquisitor refers is clearly evident as she strides forward to stand along side her. Her expression is one of exceeding confidence and authority, perhaps even a hint of arrogance visible beneath the thin-lipped smirk she gives to the Burmecian as he glances her way. Her bearing speaks of nobility and class and the intricately worked armor that adorns her lithe body sports golden gild-work and elaborate designs that no common street worker or farmer could ever hope to afford.

The design of her clothing and armor is different than that of the typical chainmail and plate worn by the knights templar of their order and the squat but cute button nose centered between gently angled eyes betrays the hints of her foreign heritage. No less than half a dozen curved blades are strapped to her body, criss-crossing over her back in a fanned out pattern that makes each handle easily accessible in battle. Two more adorn her waist in the traditional hip-worn fashion but each weapon is encased in a lacquered scabbard of wood that is as ornameted as the girl herself.

Ophelia narrows her eyes slightly on the seated knight before her, crossing her arms over her chest as she sizes him up openly with a coy smile. Time seems to stretch in those empty seconds as her crimson gaze takes in everything about him at a glance in judgemental silence.

Finally, she turns to the elder woman and clucks her tongue in feigned disappointment. "Is this what you bring me, Lady Diamonde? He looks rather rough around the edges. I typically prefer my charges come with all of their parts intact. Are you sure his warranty has not expired?"
Artyom W. Valodjn Masonry and architecture have always been a popular choice for the more artistically talented of the Titanic. The stones hewn from the father-mountain were solid and sturdy, making them perfect for construction into and along the slopes of the fallen pinnacle. Even while Artyom doesn't necessarily specialize in the craft, as a member of the upper class, even by simple association, he can certainly appreciate fine construction when he sees it.

The great buttressed cathedrals of Mullonde are spectacular indeed. Observant eyes trace their curves of the cathedral arches and peaks, the beautiful shadows they cast in the midday sun, the stained glass windows, crafted in magnificent rose-patterns, illuminating the inside of all but the most simple of structures in a bath of prismatic light. It is a beautiful city, Artyom concludes. Fitting for the seat of a large faith.

Of course, he also thinks, it is surprisingly well defensible. The rooftops would be excellent for placing snipers, and the tall walls secure it from most monster attacks. But there's part of him that finds issue with the... Impracticality of many of these spires.

Not that he voices his opinion, of course.

But he is not here to simply take in the sights. There is business to be arranged. The mountain of a man strides through the streets, attracting the curious gaze of the comers and goers of the great cathedral-city. At least one clergyman mistakes him for the ill begotten child of a gigas and a woman, but holds his tongue as Artyom thunders into the cathedral to which he was directed.

And so, he was led into the room.

Artyom is... Difficult to miss. Especially once you've met him once, and his dark and worn travelling clothes, the dull armor on his chest and legs, and the massive weapon across his shoulders don't exactly blend in as well in a brightly-lit church antechamber as in a dingy alleyway, buried in a mountain of cats.

"Fiery one," Artyom rumbles, simply, at the Burmecian Knight. "Interesting encountering you, here."
Faruja Senra The farm-boy Burmecian can practically /smell/ the nobility in the woman. Combined with that little smirk? Even before she speaks, his claws flex, as though starting to reach for the weapon he didn't bring. The darker, vinictive part of him wants to simply stab or even strangle that smirk out of the woman.

Sarah quite simply sighs as the woman speaks. The resulting snarl is almost predictable, and the old woman raises her hand. "Please, Faruja, don't challenge my replacement to a duel just yet. It was hard enough finding her."

That's enough to stun the Templar into silence. At first, he doesn't even notice Artyom. Sarah chuckles, choosing to take up her young subordinate's thoughts for herself.

"I wonder if you would come out half as well, Lady Ophelia, when faced with such ill fortune as Faruja has encountered. I prefer survivors, ones who refuse to die when told to. Rather useful in our line of work, don't you agree? But by all means, test him yourself if you doubt his skills or strength."

Faruja glances to Artyom, already visibly trembling in rage. "My, my, my. The blasphemer. May you find comfort, and wisdom in the streets and cathedrals of Mullonde." Standing, he offers the pair a bow, though it's far too stiff. At least the bit towards Artyom is said honestly enough.

Sarah clears her throat, just before the rat is about to speak. "Well, let's get down to business! To put it simply, I'm retiring. Don't give me that look Faruja, I'm an old woman, even if I don't look it. This is Inquisitor Ophelia. I do so /hope/ you both will come to be friends, and work as well together as you and I Faruja. No, the decision is final Faruja. Lady Ophelia is to inherit all of my charges, and that includes you."

Faruja turns to Ophelia. With a distinctly cold look, he peers her over, barely able to not scowl at the woman.

"May the Lord bless you, Lady Inquisitor, and lead us to humble service in His Name. Templar Faruja Senra, at your service." Sizing her up, he tries to calm himself.

Sarah just rubs her temples, wishing she'd brought some wine, inwardly praying these two don't kill each other. "...And /you/, my distinctly tall Child. A servant of Lady Ophelia, correct?"
Ophelia Ophelia, while not actually of noble birth, has known enough privelage and wealth through her uncle's successful merchant enterprises that the difference lies only in her lack of a title. Her short life in the large city of her birth within the lush borders of Ordallia allowed her to see enough of poverty and squallor to know that she has little desire to be anywhere near it. The looks of the unfortunate and the poor are nothing new to her and she can spot the contempt and anger in Faruja's face even without the other less natural means available to her.

The shock on his face only causes her grin to widen subtley but the corners of her lips never pull far enough to reveal her teeth, something she seems to be doing purposefully as if afraid to reveal them. Perhaps she suffers from a sweet tooth that has damage them? The young woman simply shrugs back at her fellow inquisitor with a dismissive shake of her head.

"Aye, survival is a skill most sought after by those who would pursue the path of the warrior but one that few manage to attain. I need not test his mettle, my Lady - the trials he shall face beneath my banner shall do that well enough on their own." She tilts her head towards the templar, giving him a faint knowing smile that contains a hint of hidden danger in the glint of her eyes. "We shall see how long those skills avail him in time."

"Ophelia Rosai Lovett. Pick whichever you wish, they are all quite lovely, hmm?" She returns to the bow to him though with far more elegance and flair before turning her attention to the rather large and unavoidable presence that has joined them.

"Ah, Artyom. How nice of you to come!" Ophelia gives him a bow as well, sliding gracefully around Faruja to stand by the towering man. "And on such short notice! I was not aware you were so eager to put yourself to the test."
Artyom W. Valodjn Choleric tempers and religious zealotry have never sat well with Artyom. His heart is prone to cooler, more level-headed assessments. Patience, determination and introspection are virtues that the young Titanic values above nearly every other, save perhaps to loyalty and honesty. He frowns at Faruja's less-than-ideal response to his greeting. "I haven't traveled all this way to throw any stones- and you respond to me with such hostility," Artyom sighs, his arms crossing over his chest. "Though your cathedrals are quite beautiful. The stonework is of excellent quality- I've not seen such attention to detail since Father-Mountain fell. Whoever built this place must have really loved his work."

The Titanic inclines his head in greeting regardless. Hospitality recieved is hospitality above all else, no matter how bitterly some might give it- it must be reciprocated with respect and courtesy.

Though the slope of his gesture does deepen slightly when inquired of by the elder woman. "I am Artyom, currently under the employ of Lady Lovett to replace some of the ground-forces lost when her world fell. It is an honor to meet you, Elder Diamonde. I am certain that the church will miss employing a woman of such great ability, wisdom--"

His eyes flicker, almost imperceptibly, toward Faruja, before fixing again on the older woman. "--and patience."

He then turns to bow his head at the woman now at his side. "Of course. I go when I am directed," and agree with the direction, "It would be remiss of me to dawdle for too long, after all." Or maybe it's the fact that being late to Doctor Greene's classes has caused Artyom to acquire a subconscious fear of being late to any arranged meeting. He's not quite sure why- though he does distantly remember something about a chalkboard.
Faruja Senra For a moment, Faruja sees fit to ignore the pair in favor of the elderly woman. His hand goes to his heart. "Lady Inquisitor, 'tis been an honor beyond telling." His gaze sweeps to Artyom. His muzzle flattens, then nods.

"Ser Artyom has the right of it. Retired or not, my life is yours." Ends the ratling. The now ex-Inquisitor simply chuckles. Reaching over, she pats the Burmecian's hand warmly.

"Words fit to make an old woman blush. Be good. Serve Lady Lovett as you would me. And for Faram's sake, try to learn to control your temper. He is right you know. Patience is /not/ one of your hallmarks." She turns to Ophelia, and nods.

"Take care of him, and show him the path towards righteousness. I will be most...displeased...if I were to find out you have wasted a useful servant of the Lord." Despite the kindly words, her eyes are daggers towards Ophelia, an edge in her voice.

She claps her hands, and stands, feigning a yawn. "Well, then! That's it. I'll have a dossier on all of my...ahem, /your/ current projects in the morning."

A pause from the woman, and she blushes slightly. "Ahh, as prone to compliments, /and/ a calm head. My dear boy, if you are to remain in Lady Ophelia's company, please try to impart a little of that in young Faruja here. He is faithful, and truly the spark of the Lord's Word burns oh so very brightly in him!" Leaning closer to Artyom, she whispers.

"...A little too brightly, at times. If he gets out of sorts, yank him by the tail or ears." A wink, and then she gives the trio a wave.

"I have paperwork! Faruja, tomorrow, you and I are going to dinner as friends rather than coworkers. If Lady Lovett doesn't get you killed that is. Have fun, Children! Lord bless!" With that, exit stage left one Sarah Diamonde.

Now alone, Faruja turns to the pair. Slowly, he smirks. "Speak you of trials, M'Lady? Tell me, of what sort? I prefer not to fight blindly."
Ophelia "Hmm! Well, your timeliness is certainly a desirable trait as is the willingness to obey orders. I think you shall find your tour of duty under my employ to be quite painless." Ophelia says. She gives the mountainous man another quick smile.

Her attention is pulled away by the tone of the elder woman's voice at her back which carries with it an unsubtle threat the likes of which no one but another inquisitor would dare to speak. Ophelia simply quirks an eyebrow at this but nods in return. "Worry not, my lady, I shall make the utmost use of our dear templar's skills and fervour. Have no doubt of that. I am sure the work you pass on to me shall provide something to busy his blade."

As the elderly women leaves the room, Ophelia's gaze returns to Faruja. The look she gives him is not unlike that of a snake eyeing a field mouse. There is hunger in her eyes though whether it be a desire born from fanatical devotion like his own or something else entirely is impossible to tell.

"My, my, it was naught but moments ago that your former mentor spoke of tempering your patienence and already you test mine," Ophelia says. Turning away, the slender girl stalks over to the desk formerly occupied by Faruja's friend and commander. Her fingertips run across the surface lightly as she circles around its wide surface and takes a seat in the practical but comfortable chair that sits behind it. The fingers of her hands steeple together and she rests them against the bridge of her nose for several moments, peering at both of the men in the room with a sharp gaze.

"Tell me," she says, "what do you know of demons?"
Artyom W. Valodjn "Of course, Elder Diamonde," Artyom responds, "I will do my best to keep him from doing unnecessary harm with that fiery temper of his. Many of my old friends have had... similar attitudes--" The mountainous man blinks as the woman leans in, turning an attentive ear to her words. His face goes grim- and deadly serious- as he commits the advice to memory, and offers a knowing nod in reply. "I understand. With your permission, ma'am."

He watches, respectfully, as the elder inquisitor vanishes into the halls of the cathedral. She has steel, that woman- more than most would guess at first glance.

The people of the Outer Worlds are certainly interesting, Artyom thinks- before something pressing draws him out of his reverie. Specifically, a particularly youthful new head inquisitor. "My employers have all valued my punctuality highly, Lady Lovett. I'm told that I have impeccable timing, though I have recieved complaints that I only seem to appear when I'm most needed."

"It's nonsense, of course," Artyom hrmphs, "I arrive when it is most appropriate for me to do so. And that is often as soon as possible." Though the frequency at which his sword swings through a wall at the most opportune time is surprisingly high.

Just a matter of timing, surely.

"Demons," Artyom says, contemplatively. His brow furrows as his fingers tap in rhythmic trios against the metal plate covering his chest. "Well. I know of at least one definition- the one I'm most familiar with. Demons are creatures spawned of Chaos, that seek to disrupt the balance of the world and its people. They can take many forms, and are dangerous to a last. Though I had not seen any Chaos Demons up until..."

Artyom frowns severely.

"Up until very recently."
Faruja Senra Faruja returns Ophelia's gaze, staring into the hungry face of the slithering snake. His eye narrows a fraction, fur slightly up at his neck, claws flexing around the chair he's sat in. Much like a mouse backed into a corner, he's all the more dangerous when trapped. It all bleeds out of course into a that may just sound like a oncealed snarl as she mentions testing her patience. The fiery Templar will no doubt do much of that!

Faruja goes silent, however, at the mention of demons. A glance to Aryom, tail lashing behind him. For all of his earlier hostility, there's a look of sympathy. While he's never heard of Chaos or its demons, he can't help but pity anyone who's faced Fell beings. Only once the man is done, does he speak his mind.

"Alexandria makes use of demons in the form of Black Mages, a mockery of life. Soul-less yellow eyes, flames summoned from the Pit itself! Killing soldier, friend, and child with nary a hint of hesitation, while those blasted, Alexandrian /WITCHES/ looked on without even..."

The start of a rant is cut off with a growl. "Only in passing, M'Lady."
Ophelia A wry smirk is given to the both of them at their professed limited experience. Faruja's anger at the Alexandrians is understandable considering that his homeland has been beseiged by the war-mongering empire. However, she can't help but be amused by how naive his view point is. The magical weapons they used were no demons, merely the product of twisted experiments and science left unchecked by morality. The real monsters were far far more horrifying.

"No doubt the two of you have earned many accolades in your service to your lands." Her gaze shifts to Faruja in particular, having little knowledge of the world from which Artyom hails. The scars and bandages are evident to see in the Burmecian's case. "I am certain that you stand tall with pride at your accomplishments, that you have faith in the skills which have seen you through danger."

She shakes her head slowly. "However, what you have faced until this day has been a pale shadow of the dangers that lie in wait for you." She lets that announcement hang in the air for a few moments hoping to set the tone properly for what she plans to tell them. "I speak plainly now so that there shall be no misinterpreting my words. It is likely that both of you shall die if you follow me."

Her head tilts to the side in a playful manner, her capricious nature suddenly getting the better of the serious mask she tries to wear. A broad grin replaces the hard stare and she giggles softly as if the notion of their imminent demise amused her. "Still interested?"
Artyom W. Valodjn Artyom's experience in combat has certainly been a bit more... profound than some of his colleagues. Though he is no Odynar- he has not stood on the walls of that damned city, fighting the devils that assail it day in and day out- he still serves as a sword to one of the most prestigious families of his fallen world. Fighting monsters, adventuring- these things were common, back home.

But there are worse things out in the world than great beasts and terrible abberations.

Artyom murmurs something under his breath. He jerks his neck to one side, popping the bones along its length. Each one slips back into position with the slight grind of bone against bone- or maybe stone against stone? His gaze falls evenly onto the strange, crimson inquisitor. Her laughter, her laissez faire attitude. Either she is mad, or she is sadistic.

Or she is both.

"After a fashion," Artyom rumbles at last, "Everyone is certain to die, no matter which road they choose. It's what they do with their time that is more important than when it ends." No emotion plays across his face. Everything about him has become a wall of impassible stoicism. "I am, of course, interested. I would not have come this way, if I were not."

He is getting paid, after all- but more importantly...

Where there are 'demons,' the shadow beasts are bound to be close by. The accumulation of wealth, the acquisition of information, and more- to say no at this juncture is foolish.

Besides, if the church doesn't kill him for knowing who their inquisitors are, then Souji will reprimand him for turning down an excellent opportunity to secure resources.

At this point, there is no choice but to move forward.


He quite pointedly makes no reference to Faruja's exclamation. To judge a battallion of Black Mages on one man's say alone is a bit unwise, after all.
Faruja Senra Faruja himself manages a small, bitter smirk. "'Tis rather difficult, M'Lady, to stand tall and proud when one's home is less than ash and swallowed in Darkness. And with the culprits yet drawing breath...and with Abominations stalking every street corner? I fear my skills weak yet." It's an honest assessment. No matter how much stronger he becomes, always does there seem to be some dark being with greater power. Frustration hounds him for a moment, before he finally calms, waiting for the woman to make her point.

"'Tis a Templar's duty to serve, no matter what lies ahead." Pausing momentarily, he recalls the words of his beloved wolfess.

"As the good Ser states, we all go to the Lord's arms." Though he'll be damned if it's by some demon! His tail lashes, quite ready to tear apart whatever demons this woman has in line for them to purge! Hati'd kill him if he let some mere demon get the better of him.

"Hardly shall I slink away like some coward! My blade is yours, Lady Inquisitor. Do with me as the Lord would guide thee. If I perish, then all was to His plan."
Ophelia The grin that dominates her pretty features turns dark and sinister for a moment as she accepts their resolute determination to stand firm despite the danger. Hearing men swear themselves to her cause always sent a chill of pleasure up her spine, a twisted sensation brought on the the dark knowledge that she would one day see their blood splattered across the ground. Sometimes it took years for the more skilled warriors to succumb to the machinations of fate but all too often the bravery and courage of those who stepped into the shadowy war she waged with the true evils of the world saw their lives spent in a matter of months.

That she takes pleasure from this knowledge is one of the most tightly kept secrets of the young inquisitor. Only her aging master knows the truth of the darkness that flows through her veins and his tireless war to control the urges that curse her has been successful only due to the bargain she struck those many years ago. The suffering of others has always been a sweet wine to her and only through intense discipline did she keep the urge to fall prey to her own vices at bay.

"Excellent." Her voice is a whisper filled with barely contained excitement. She lowers her hands to the surface of the desk, and just like that, Ophelia's composure is restored. "We shall not speak of details in this place for the eyes and ears of the servants of evil are many. Even here within these hallowed halls agents of corruption and darkness may wander. Rest assured, once I have made appropriate arrangements, I shall send for you both. Until that time consider yourselves free to spend your time as you wish."

Her head cocks to the side again, eyes sliding shut as she gives them another playful smile. "Questions?"
Artyom W. Valodjn Artyom does not plan on losing every ounce of blood that runs in his veins. Not any time soon. Not to a bloodsucker, not to a demon, not to anything like that. The blade on his back is made to cleave everything and anything- not limited to, and including demons, monsters, devillish beasts, people and Things In General. Hopefully, it will be enough.

And if not, he has magic to fall back on, after all.

"Yes," Artyom says, inclining his head. "Is there a place nearby- one that is not prone to structural damage, or that is likely to survive above average seismic activity?" He rolls his shoulders in a vague gesture at the thing strapped to his back, "I would require somewhere to work that would not... Endanger any particular fragile engineering."

Pause. He glances briefly at the field mouse.

"Perhaps it could be made into a... team-building area?" This isn't at all because he's worried that the mouse will someday decide to get a bit too fiery about that religion of his. Nor is it just about being able to sit somewhere /outside/ this massive, religious city.

It's /also/ about avoiding damage to any of these marvelous buildings! Artyom has only the best interests of the city at heart.

"...Also, I believe all the paperwork is in order?"
Faruja Senra Faruja does not like that smile one bit. It reminds him of some of the smiles he saw upon the faces of murderous Alexandrian soldiers. The Mages had scared him. The soldiers had sickened him. For the second time, the urge to reach over and crush the life from her with a hand rises up. Breathing in, and out, he lowers his killing urge. A sharp eye might notice the burning white aura about his clenching clawed hand.

"None, M'Lady. Call upon me at thy leisure." Standing, the ratling offers a bow once more to the pair.

"However, M'Lady, I think you shall find us a touch harder to slay that at first anticipated. No doubt our days shall be most.../interesting/. I look forward to our first assignment. By your leave." He hesitates a moment, however, turning his gaze to Artyom. A training ground /would/ be useful.
Ophelia The faint glow of holy light does not escape notice but Ophelia does her best not to stare at the sizzling paw. If anything his frustration seems to make her smile more and she gives a muted chuckle in response to his stoic fervour. "Hmmhmmhmm. Indeed, they shall."

Turning her head towards Artyom, the girl looks thoughtful for a moment. "I know not what manner of training you undertake, however, recent events have made the residents far less willing to tolerate unusual phenomenon. I suggest you seek out one of the smaller missions in the outlying foothills. A little exercise walking back and forth should pose not problems, hmm?"

A hand waves at them, shooing them out with a casual gesture. "That will be all. Dismissed."

This scene contained 17 poses. The players who were present were: Faruja Senra, Artyom W Valodjn, Ophelia